Introduction: An Ecological Theory of Art
This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of ontological reciprocity and the philosophical significance of art. It then sets out the book's central argument, that the essence of art is nothing less than the conservation of human experience itself. The artwork as symbolically significant sensuous manifold is able to express the decisive relation between subject and world (ontological reciprocity) at a level that does not obliterate the concreteness of the relation. Indeed, the necessary unity of whole and parts in such a work echoes the inseparable phenomenological and logical unity of embodiment and experience itself. The artwork, in other words, reflects our mode of embodied inherence in the world, and by clarifying this inherence it brings about a harmony between subject and object of experience — a full realization of the self. An overview of the subsequent chapters is presented.
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